Aaron Smith

Discussion in 'Pittsburgh Steelers' started by Van_Slyke_CF, Aug 25, 2008.

  1. Van_Slyke_CF

    Van_Slyke_CF Mentor

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  2. Van_Slyke_CF

    Van_Slyke_CF Mentor

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    Aaron Smith is having another dominant season, along with D-line teammates Brett Keisel and Chris Hoke.

    Talented, but fat and lazy black sumo, Casey Hampton, is hurt again. Chris Hoke may very well be the superior player anyway.

    Keep up the good work, Aaron Smith, and let's hope it earns you another trip to the Pro Bowl in Hawaii!
     
  3. Don Wassall

    Don Wassall Administrator Staff Member

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    I've always considered Hoke a better player than Hampton. Hoke is athletic and can move, while Hampton is a huge blob that requires double-teaming because of his size. But Hampton is beloved by his teammates and was even elected team MVP one year and is a Pro Bowl fixture no matter how nondescript his play, so Hoke has no chance of supplanting him as the starter.
     
  4. sot42

    sot42 Newbie

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    Aaron Smith has always reminded me of the classic DTs of the past like Merlin Olson and Bob Lilly. Adam Carriker of the Rams is in the same mold. These guys are SUPERIOR athletes who are currently in disfavor, but I believe will soon be rediscovered by the NFL.
     
  5. Van_Slyke_CF

    Van_Slyke_CF Mentor

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    sot42: I'd like to believe you, but it's kind of hard to get more white DLs when so few are drafted anymore. The simple fact of the matter is that so many of our superior athletes get no chance in the NFL.

    After Chris Long, I don't think there was another white DL guy drafted til the 4th or 5th round this year. (We discussed this on the draft thread in April.)
     
  6. Van_Slyke_CF

    Van_Slyke_CF Mentor

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    A great game last night by Aaron Smith to help lead the Steelers to the Super Bowl. [​IMG]

    He and the other white Steelers D-linemen-Chris Hoke, Brett Keisel and Travis Kirschke-are seldom given the credit they are due. They were tremendous against the Ravens and I look forward to great things from them in the Super Bowl. Edited by: Van_Slyke_CF
     
  7. LabMan

    LabMan Mentor

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    The performance of the guys mentioned was played down,as always,good to see it spoken of here!
     
  8. OldSchoolBoy75

    OldSchoolBoy75 Guru

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    I'll also throw Jack Youngblood and Dan Hampton in there as well. Those were the days when you thought of big, tough White guys when you thought of defense. Now it's become every caste pimp's fantasy.
     
  9. Van_Slyke_CF

    Van_Slyke_CF Mentor

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    Aaron Smith deserved another Pro Bowl selection this year.

    How quickly did the team's DL play suffer late last season when he got hurt? But this year, he anchored the line all the way to the Super Bowl victory. [​IMG]
     
  10. Van_Slyke_CF

    Van_Slyke_CF Mentor

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    According to reports, Aaron Smith is gone for the year with another arm injury.

    If true, this might be the end for the 34 y/o Smith, one of the best defensive linemen to ever play for the Steelers.

    http://sports.yahoo.com/nfl/players/4759
     
  11. whiteathlete33

    whiteathlete33 Hall of Famer

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    He apparently tore his tricep. What a shame.
     
  12. Van_Slyke_CF

    Van_Slyke_CF Mentor

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  13. Don Wassall

    Don Wassall Administrator Staff Member

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    It's obscene, even for the anti-White NFL and media, how little recognition Aaron Smith has received.


    <DIV id=hn-line>Steelers pay DL Smith ultimate compliment by keeping him on roster as he rehabs

    PITTSBURGH, Pa. â€" Aaron Smith might not be identified often as one of the best at his position in the NFL.



    Ask anyone in the Steelers locker-room, though, and they'll tell you he's not only the top 3-4 defensive end in the league, but of his generation.


    There was no greater acknowledgment of the respect Smith commands as a player and person within the Pittsburgh organization than when the team did not put him on injured reserve after he tore his left triceps in a 23-22 win at Miami on Oct. 24.


    The decision ultimately cost the Steelers promising linebacker Thaddeus Gibson, their fourth-round draft pick four months before Smith was hurt.


    But there are tough decisions made every day in the NFL. And this was one the Steelers can live with.


    "It's a sign of respect," safety Ryan Clark said. "You don't do that for just anybody â€" you do that for a leader. You do that for a guy who will do anything to be back. He's earned that. You don't do that for a young guy because they haven't earned that right. Aaron Smith has earned the right to be waited upon."


    Considering Smith's injury was less than three months ago and the standard recovery time for such an ailment is four to six months, keeping Smith available for a theoretical return was indeed quite a compliment to pay the 12-year veteran.


    And Smith returned the favour, which shouldn't come as a surprise. He didn't pack it in. He returned to the practice field the past two weeks, in fact, but was limited in participation. He is considered extremely unlikely to play Sunday when the Steelers (13-4) meet the New York Jets (13-4).


    Should Pittsburgh win, though, and advance to the Super Bowl, the prospect of Smith taking the field in uniform for that game would make all the waiting â€" and the loss of Gibson, claimed off waivers by San Francisco â€" worthwhile.


    "If there's even a slight opportunity or a slim chance for him to play in the Super Bowl if we advance, we'd love to have him out there because he's a difference maker," said wide receiver Hines Ward, the only Steeler who's been around longer than Smith. "I think by not putting him on IR shows what kind of player he is, shows what he means to our team and this organization. Hopefully, we can get past this one, because I would love to see Aaron play in the Super Bowl."
    full article: http://www.google.com/hostednews/canadianpress/article/ALeqM5jeBrJFbKqWn2sP5PCIJ1YEVlec-A?docId=5728154
     
  14. Van_Slyke_CF

    Van_Slyke_CF Mentor

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  15. Van_Slyke_CF

    Van_Slyke_CF Mentor

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    I know Aaron Smith's placement on IR, and probably the end of his career, is being discussed on the 2011 Steelers thread, but I wanted to bump up this thread to give Smith his due for a great career. Thanks for the memories!

    http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/11295/1184235-100.stm
     
  16. Don Wassall

    Don Wassall Administrator Staff Member

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    Very nice tribute to Aaron, who never received anything remotely close to his due as a player from the media.

    Steelers' Aaron Smith one of the greats, on field and in life

    Tuesday, October 25, 2011
    By Ron Cook, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

    If you cover sports for a long time, you build up an impressive list of favorites, great, wonderful people whom you are thankful to know or have known. I think of Art Rooney, Sr. and Jr., Mel Blount and Jack Ham. Jerome Bettis, James Farrior, Larry Foote and Hines Ward. Herb Brooks, Brooks Orpik and Mike Rupp. Jim Leyland, Chuck Tanner and Carl Barger. Johnny Majors and Joe Paterno.

    But I'm not sure I wouldn't rank Aaron Smith No. 1, all time.

    "If I could be like him and live my life like he lives his, I'd die a happy man," Steelers teammate Brett Keisel once said of Smith.

    I reminded Keisel of that comment after the Steelers beat the Arizona Cardinals Sunday, a day after news broke that the team had placed Smith on injured reserve because of a neck injury, ending his season and his superb career.

    "I meant it then and I mean it now," Keisel said. "He is everything to me. It's hard for me to put it into words."

    Keisel really didn't have to say more.

    That he had to reach into his locker for a towel to wipe his eyes said it all.

    I'm guessing a lot of other Steelers felt like crying when they heard that Smith was done at 35 after 12 1/2 NFL seasons. Team neurosurgeon Joe Maroon examined Smith and couldn't promise him that he wouldn't have a catastrophic neck injury if he played again. Instead, Smith will have surgery that will allow him to continue to lead a normal life.

    This is three consecutive seasons and the fourth time in five years that a major injury ended Smith's season.

    "When you play as hard as he does and you compete like he does, these things happen," Keisel said. "I don't think [the neck injury] was the result of any one play. I think it was just wear and tear. His body just wore out."

    That thought didn't make it any easier for Smith's teammates to accept that he won't be playing with them again.

    "His locker is right next to mine," said Farrior, the Steelers defensive captain and, at 36, their oldest player.

    "I know how hard he worked and the struggles he went through to come back from his [torn triceps] injury last season. He really wanted to have a great year. It [stinks] how he's going out."

    Smith was a great player, one of the best in Steelers history. Certainly, he was their best 3-4 defensive end.

    "An awesome player," Farrior called Smith.

    "He never got dogged by the coaches or dominated by an opponent," said Foote, a veteran linebacker. "All of us get yelled at by the coaches and laughed at by our teammates for doing something stupid on the field. Not Aaron. Never once can I remember leaving the film room saying, 'That play was Aaron's fault.' He never was out of position. He never made mistakes."

    Here's the best part about Smith:

    He is a better man than player.

    I saw it after Smith's son, Elijah, then 4, was diagnosed with leukemia in October 2008. Smith is a private guy, generally avoided the spotlight his entire career and didn't respond to repeated telephone requests to talk about this latest injury. But he agreed to go public with Elijah's story when he realized it could help others. I sat with him for a couple of hours at the South Side compound and listened as he bared his soul. It was my most memorable interview. ("Since October, pain has had new definition for family of Aaron Smith (12/14/08)")

    What parent couldn't relate to Smith's pain?

    "I swear at that moment I wanted to vomit on the floor. I didn't know anything about leukemia. I just know it was something bad. It was a death sentence as far as I knew."

    An entire region was touched.

    That December, the Steelers held a record-setting blood drive at Heinz Field that was inspired by Elijah's illness.

    "What an awesome city!" Smith gushed in response. "This is a city that takes care of its own."

    The Steelers beat the Cardinals in Super Bowl XLIII after the 2008 season and Elijah was in Tampa, Fla., to see the game. Today, he's doing well, a happy 7-year-old, the second-oldest of Smith's five children.

    You think Smith is going to fret too much about the end of his career?

    I mean, really?

    "He's handling it the same way he handles everything," Keisel said. "He saw me after we found out and said to me, 'Listen, bro, I don't want any pity parties.' I told him, 'I'm not worried about you, Aaron. I'm worried about me and the team. What are we going to do without you?' "

    The Steelers will carry on. They don't have a choice. They are 5-2 and must get ready for a big home game Sunday against the New England Patriots. The Baltimore Ravens come to town the following Sunday.

    Life goes on in the NFL, no matter what.

    "That's just the way this game is," Keisel said.

    He, Farrior, Foote and the other 30-something players know their time is coming. Smith's injury made them painfully aware of their football mortality. None liked that feeling.

    "It hits you hard," Foote said. "First, Jerome [Bettis] left. Then, Joey [Porter]. Now, Aaron. Every one of us knows we're going to have to cross that bridge one day. You don't like to think about it, but it's always in your mind."

    As Farrior put it, "We're all on deck."

    The 30-somethings should be so lucky to face the end of their career with Smith's strength and class.

    They should be so lucky to be so well-remembered.

    http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/11298/1184658-87-0.stm
     

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